My Brain Talks Like Al Pachino

I forgot what I wanted to write about today because I didn’t write it down when it came to me last night.  I didn’t write it down because it was coming to me so fast and so solid that I knew there was no way I’d forget it.  I always know there’s no way I’ll forget it.  Despite forgetting in an instant what it was I came into the room for, what I was just going to say, what I had for lunch an hour ago, I still believe I’ll never forget an idea for a blog post, a book, a life-changing invention, a dream I just woke up from.

In fact, I’ve just forgotten where I was going with this post.

Then of course, there are the things I’d love to forget and never will; embarrassments, sad times, nightmares.  Why do those things stick around but my good ideas don’t?   Am I depositing my good ideas in the wrong part of my brain?

The next time I have a good idea, right after I write it down for safe-keeping (or not), I’ll have a talk with my brain.

“Brain”, I’ll say, “I’m handing over this great idea for safe keeping.” My brain will probably smirk, yawn, and reply, “Yeah, whatever, just throw it over there.” But I’ll insist.  “No Brain.  Listen to me.  Seriously.  I need you to file this idea in a specific spot, okay?  I need you to file this idea right next to the memory of how I asked that poor young woman about 4 times when her baby was due without it ever occurring to me that perhaps she wasn’t answering because she wasn’t pregnant.  File it right there where I can be sure to find it later, okay, Brain?”

To which Brain will probably respond with some 1836 blue law about brain function that won’t allow him to file that idea anyplace retrievable. I can hear him now:

“It don’t work like that, Chicken. You gets the ideas.  I files ’em where I see fit. You don’t like it, talk to the boss.”

My brain has an unfortunate  attitude problem.


What kind of tricks does your brain play on you?

Chicken out

  8 comments for “My Brain Talks Like Al Pachino

  1. Doug in Oakland
    June 23, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I like that picture, it’s from your old blog, isn’t it? OK, memory. When I was in acute rehab from my stroke, Vanna, my awesome speech pathologist gave me an acronym (mnemonic?) about remembering things. It was WRAP:
    W=write it down
    R=repeat it
    A=associate it with something easy to remember and
    That’s right, I forgot what the last letter of the memory acronym stood for. I had her email address, but I was far too embarrassed to email her and admit that I’d forgotten part of the tool she had given me for remembering things. This story has a happy ending, though, as I ran into her at Highland Hospital last year (she works there now) and she pulled me into her office to chat and I owned up to forgetting and asked her what the “P” stood for. When she finished laughing, she told me it stood for picture the thing you want to remember. I don’t know whether that helps you or not, but I never miss a chance to talk about Vanna.


    • June 24, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      Hi Doug-I can’t remember an acronym to save my life. You did well to remember 3 out of 4! Yes, that’s the picture from the old blog. It still cracks me up and captures so perfectly the essence of The CC, back when I still had an irreverent outlook. Now I’m a little more socialized, I guess. Not sure when that happened. Hope it’s temporary.


  2. jenny_o
    June 23, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I forget everything these days. Everything gets written down – or forgotten. You’ve described so well how we feel SO SURE we’ll remember because it’s such a striking idea … only to forget within minutes (or in my case, within seconds). Welcome to my world, where I keep paper and pen within arm’s reach in every room in the house, my purse, the car … I considered getting a pocket recorder for the car, actually, because, you know, driving and writing not a good mix, but … I forgot to follow up on that.


    • June 24, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Hi Jenny-I use the note app on my phone. I always have the phone on me and it’s great for just jotting something down that you need to remember. My son loves to use the reminder app on the phone to remind me of things. This is one of his most recent reminders: “Get littleb a puppy. A Jack Russell Terrier for his birthday present” he’s so funny.


      • jenny_o
        June 25, 2016 at 1:17 am

        Haha! Cute! We went through that stage before there were phones with apps. (I still don’t have one.) Strange things used to get written on the grocery list and I’d crack up in the grocery store. “Pony” was the usual one.

        So are you getting a puppy for littleb?


    • June 25, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      Pony. I love that. I never thought of adding that to my father’s grocery list. Wish I had-he would have cracked up.


  3. June 24, 2016 at 1:51 am

    I’ve forgotten most of what I learned in college all those decades ago, which is unfortunate but probably unavoidable when you get a bachelor’s in psychology with no intention of ever using it in any meaningful way. Anyway, my brain works a lot like yours, it seems. I do remember learning about two types of memory, recall and recognition. I’m really good at recognition but I suck at spontaneous recall. So I write things down that I don’t want to forget. I’m also horrible at parties or social events where people say their names once, and I’m supposed to remember that? No, I need name tags, in block letters preferably, and plastered to your forehead so I don’t have to go looking at your chest and be all obvious, you know? Also, one of my favorite poems is Billy Collins’ “Forgetfulness.” (Here it here:


    • June 25, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Paulette-thanks for visiting. I don’t remember the name of the person I just met because I’m trying to decide whether I like them and whether they like me and then we move apart and I forget not only their name, but also their face, so that the whole process has to be repeated the next time I see them. But I used to memorise famous speeches for fun and remember whole conversations I’d had with strangers in waiting rooms. I used to. Ah youth. Pass the bottle. I LOVE Billy Collins. I hadn’t heard this one. Thank you so much for sharing it.


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